NRL’s commanding officer, Capt. Mark Bruington, welcomed more than 500 children, parents, and chaperones as he highlighted important work conducted at NRL every day in support of the U.S. Navy's requirement for advanced research.
"We have some the world’s best scientists, engineers and support team here at the Naval Research Lab,” Bruington said. "With all of the tours happening today, it is essentially a massive STEM day. As you walk around and see all of this neat technology and equipment, I encourage you to ask questions.”
Bruington told the school-aged children in order for their parents to conduct these research projects, they first had to understand science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the subjects children study every day.
The day kicked off with the children getting the opportunity to experience a STEM fair in NRL’s Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR) facility. Director of LASR, Alan Schultz, and his staff, welcomed groups of parents and children, explaining the facility’s mission and capabilities.
"I, as well as many of the scientists who work in LASR, are strong supporters of STEM activities — we need to help inspire and train the next generation of scientists," Schultz said. "Hopefully, visitors to LASR leave with excitement about the work being performed at NRL, and then choose to study science and become scientists."